Hanford Reach

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Hanford Reach
Hanford Reach.jpg
A section of the Hanford Reach
Country United States
State Washington
Part of the Columbia River
Source Base of Priest Rapids Dam
 - location Near Desert Aire
 - elevation 443 ft (135 m)
 - coordinates 46°38′35″N 119°54′39″W / 46.64306°N 119.91083°W / 46.64306; -119.91083
Mouth Lake Wallula
 - location Richland
 - elevation 340 ft (104 m)
 - coordinates 46°16′46″N 119°16′03″W / 46.27944°N 119.26750°W / 46.27944; -119.26750Coordinates: 46°16′46″N 119°16′03″W / 46.27944°N 119.26750°W / 46.27944; -119.26750
Length 45 mi (72 km)
Basin 96,000 sq mi (248,639 km2)
Discharge for below Priest Rapids Dam
 - average 118,400 cu ft/s (3,353 m3/s)
 - max 547,400 cu ft/s (15,501 m3/s)
 - min 20,000 cu ft/s (566 m3/s)

The Hanford Reach is a free-flowing section of the Columbia River, around 51 miles (82 km) long, in eastern Washington state. It is named after a large northward bend in the river's otherwise southbound course.

Hanford Reach is the only section of the Columbia in the U.S. that is not tidal nor part of a reservoir, excluding a short reach between the Canada–US border and the upper end of Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, the reservoir of Grand Coulee Dam. Much of the Hanford Reach flows through the Hanford Site, a nuclear production facility established during World War II. It is also the site of the Hanford Reach National Monument, created from the original protection area around the Hanford Site. Upstream of the Hanford Reach is Priest Rapids Dam and downstream is the McNary Dam, which also impounds the last stretch of the Snake River, the largest tributary of the Columbia.

The Hanford Reach includes the still extant Coyote Rapids[1][2] and supports over forty species of fish including significant numbers of spawning fall chinook salmon[3][4]


  1. ^ "Earth-3D.com: Coyote Rapids - Washington, United States". earth-3d.com. Earth-3D.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  2. ^ "Hanford Reach National Monument, Upper Columbia, 2008" (PDF). columbiakayakadventures.com. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  3. ^ "U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Hanford Reach Wildlife & Habitat". fws.gov. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  4. ^ Geranios, Nicholas K. (November 11, 2015), "Record number of salmon return to Hanford Reach", The Seattle Times 

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